Should high school students date?


Graphic by Angelina Guhl

Some high school students opt to date, others decide to wait.

Nicole Fang, Senior Opinions Writer

It is like the plot of any romcom: from gossiping about crushes to blushing at every small interaction, your first movie date makes for a groundbreaking journal entry, and prom night seems like the most magical occasion of your life. While many parents, teachers, and peers make high school dating seem like a big waste of time, healthy relationships in adolescence can actually help shape identities and prepare teens for more positive relationships during adulthood.

Dating in high school is how you figure out how to handle all the guys and girls that life throws at you: the players, the teens who are too cool to have feelings, the womanizers and manizers and the ones who are actually decent. “When you date several people through the years, you end up learning what qualities you value in a partner so that you can find someone who’s perfect for you later in life,” sophomore Myka Fromm said. Knowing how to establish and maintain healthy romantic relationships can be an important way for adolescents to develop social skills and grow emotionally. 

Being in a relationship also takes you out of your comfort zone, offering a different perspective on high school. “There are so many things that you would never be able to do without having a girlfriend or boyfriend: going on dates, exchanging presents and walking together in the halls are just a few on the list of the great experiences that you can share with your date,” junior Alex Karbowski said. From school dances to dates, intimate relationships can create fond memories for you to look back on, allowing you to make the most out of your time as a high school student.

For the first time in life, you may face the fact that you get to know a person completely inside out. “High schoolers’ lives can get kind of depressing, so it’s really nice to have someone who knows you really well and who can comfort you,” Fromm said. As most teens value intimacy and emotional investment in times of sadness, one of the best benefits of being in a relationship may be that you have someone to talk to whenever you are in times of trouble and hardship. 

With all the responsibilities you have in high school, such as homework, extracurriculars, and maintaining other friendships, it is sometimes difficult to manage everything. One of the best things about starting to date in high school rather than college is that you learn time management skills early, and are thus are able to give time and attention to both your partner and yourself. “Speaking from personal experience, when I first started dating, my girlfriend and I would text for the whole afternoon, I would rush through my work, but it has gotten much better as I just had to sacrifice time from playing games and watching YouTube,” Karbowski said. 

Though it is well-known that high school relationships almost always end during high school or soon after, this stigma should not hold you back from trying new things and seeing what life brings you. Even if relationships do not work out, the overall experience is worth it as you learn to grow as a person, discover valuable lessons, and undergo the whole high school dream that you once could only see in movies. 

Broken hearts actually do leave long-term benefits as you learn how to deal with sadness and become a better person. In addition to making you more comfortable with dating in college and in adulthood, you will be able to protect your heart better and recognize red flags in future relationships. Every failed relationship is a step closer to the perfect one and becomes a learning experience to help make you the best partner you can be for your future person. 

For those who are currently dating in high school, most would agree in a heartbeat that dating is worth it. Even though there may be many obstacles in young relationships, getting over each one helps to strengthen individuals and bring more meaning and life to each day.